Speaking ahead of second practice for the Monster Energy Series at Bristol Motor Speedway, Letarte told NBCSN viewers about his meeting with his friends on Thursday: “I feel very fortunate that I got to spend a little bit of time with Dale, Amy and Isla, and much like the reports said it was a scary situation, and they’re doing relatively OK, healthy, no major medical issues. Now they’re together, resting, recovering and processing the situation.”

Earnhardt was flying into the Bristol area for his broadcast duties with NBC, as well as overseeing his Jr Motorsports team, when his private jet crashed upon landing, slid off the runway and burst into flames.

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“Up in the booth, I miss him already, but I’m excited for whenever he chooses to come back up here and call some races with us,” added Letarte. “But, more than anything, I was very thankful for the opportunity, after such a scary situation, to just see them and know they really were OK.”

Fellow commentator and ex-driver Jeff Burton said he’d spoken with Earnhardt by phone on Friday morning, and added: “It was good to hear Dale Jr’s voice this morning, and I know he hates not being here, but he’s doing what he needs to do to take care of himself and his family. But he’s going to be watching, I’m telling you! I can bet you he’ll be sending us texts many times this weekend, letting us know what we’re missing.

“All things considered, this was as good of an outcome as you could expect. That was a very, very scary situation.”

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. plane crash wreckage

Dale Earnhardt Jr. plane crash wreckage

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Photo by: Jerry Jordan – KickinTheTires.net

Dale Earnhardt Jr. plane crash wreckage

Dale Earnhardt Jr. plane crash wreckage

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Photo by: Jerry Jordan – KickinTheTires.net

Dale Earnhardt Jr. plane crash wreckage

Dale Earnhardt Jr. plane crash wreckage

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Photo by: Jerry Jordan – KickinTheTires.net

Dale Earnhardt Jr. plane crash wreckage

Dale Earnhardt Jr. plane crash wreckage

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Photo by: Jim Utter

Dale Earnhardt Jr. plane crash wreckage

Dale Earnhardt Jr. plane crash wreckage

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Photo by: Jim Utter

Dale Earnhardt Jr. plane crash wreckage

Dale Earnhardt Jr. plane crash wreckage

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Photo by: Jim Utter

Dale Earnhardt Jr. plane crash wreckage

Dale Earnhardt Jr. plane crash wreckage

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Photo by: Jim Utter

Dale Earnhardt Jr. plane crash wreckage

Dale Earnhardt Jr. plane crash wreckage

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Photo by: Jim Utter

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